December Wall Chart and Net Worth Report

November's Wall Chart and Net Worth Report

A new year brings a new month, and a new month brings another update to the Margin Studies Wall Chart and net worth report series!

The Wall Chart is borrowed directly from Your Money or Your Life, which is one of the cornerstone books of the FIRE movement. By consistently keeping track of all of your money coming in and out, you can start to make better decisions as to how you spend your life energy.

I use the YNAB software for all of my budgeting, and I LOVE it. I’m currently resisting the urge to tell all of my friends. I’m sure an official review of the software will happen in the coming months.

December’s Wall Chart Report:

This month I come back down to earth a little. But I expected this. A couple things entered into the equation here.

One. I’m no longer paying myself my self employment taxes

When I first started using YNAB to track my budget, I had this brilliant idea to combine my business budget onto the same worksheet as my personal budget, but after I spent some time reading Profit First.

The business finance system laid out in the book involves opening up different bank accounts, and distributing your income a couple times a month into the different accounts.

I loved the book and implemented the system right away, but it was going to make my budgeting VERY messy. So I split up my business and personal budgets, and because I’ll be paying my taxes from my business, I’m not paying myself that extra amount.

Two. My old business is officially shut down.

As of this summer, I transitioned into a single owner LLC, and me and a business partner decided to close up our existing business. As of last week, i’ve received my last disbursement from that business. So i’m no longer collecting two job’s worth of income 🙂

Three. Seasonal depression is a thing.

The amount of gray that we’ve lived through in Michigan the last two months is ridiculous. I’m attempting to fight this by getting to the gym 5 days a week, and cutting out fast food. I know it will work… I’ve lost a good amount of weight in the past, and a lot of it has crept back, but I feel pretty determined to start making better and better decisions. FI is about the aggregation of marginal gains, right? Well, health is too.

Four. Spending was up. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

My house insurance bill came, so that was a bigger expense that I had been saving for. I also had some Christmas Gifts to purchase, as well as the seemingly endless opportunities to meet friends for beers or coffee or dinner. It was a rough month for my entertainment budget.

The numbers:

Income: $5,390.60

Spending: $3,460.17

Margin: $1,940.43

I mean… I still saved some… I’ve also decided to start putting in the 4% calculation, the calculation when, once that number reaches my expenses number, we can say I’m officially financially independent.
We’re aiming for up and to the right. so we’re still winning.

Net Worth as of 1/1/2019 : $76,997.86

This number is an increase of $1,127.07 over what I had calculated in last months’ Wall Chart / Net Worth Report. Given that we saw a big shift in the stock market over the last month, I was pleased to still end up ahead. I plan on creating a Goals post later this week, as it’s a very new years kind of thing to do. I think this is the year where my net worth reaches beyond 100k! I know other net worth trackers around the internet tend to go into how each account fluctuates to reach that number. Is that something that interests you guys? I could see it being helpful!

November Wall Chart and Net Worth Report

November's Wall Chart and Net Worth Report

Last month, I kicked off my first ever Wall Chart Report on the Margin Studies Blog. These reports are modeled after the simple personal finance system found  in Vicki Robin’s Your Money or Your Life. This month i’m going to publish my first ever Net Worth Report so that I can remain accountable both to my self and to you all!

According to the book, each month, you track the money you make and the money you spend. You then take those numbers and plot them on a graph that you hang prominently on the wall so that you can see them and are reminded of your progress every time you see them. I have roommates, so I’m hesitant to actually hang up a physical chart.

I use the YNAB software for all of my budgeting, and I LOVE it. If you haven’t heard of it, or decided on how you want to track your finances, I have it on my list to create a full review for you, don’t worry.

November’s Wall Chart Report:

So this was another big month for my income- but I threw a majority of the extra income at a credit card balance that got a little out of hand this summer. I think my income will cool off for a few months, as I had an extremely busy summer, and being self employed definitely has periods of feast and famine! I felt that I could have reduced some of my spending, as I traveled and ate out pretty frequently, but I guess there’s always next month?

The numbers:

Income: $15,460.30

Spending: $2139.99

Margin: $13,320.31

Margin Studies November Wall Chart
Now that there’s more than one point, lets actually publish a graph 🙂

Net Worth as of December 2018: $75870.79

This number is an increase of $9,816.61 over what I had calculated in on November 7. It’s quite the jump! I don’t anticipate these kinds of months being the norm, but having more of these months would certainly put me on the fast track to being debt free and later financial independence!

November Net Worth
If only i would have kept track of this monthly the rest of this year, this chart would actually be helpful…

How did November go for you? How are you going to continue to work towards your goals even though the holidays can be expensive?




October Wall Chart Report

In August, as I reported an earlier post, I started reading Your Money or Your Life, by Vicki Robin, and I intend on sharing my monthly updates with this. So here’s my wall chart report for October.

In Your Money or Your Life, Vicki Robin outlines a step by step program to repeat on your way to financial independence. One of those steps is simply tracking your income and expenses and then recording the two numbers on the same graph that you hang on the wall so that you can see it over and over. I live in a house with roommates. I haven’t fully decided where I will post this, but it’s my intention to start the chart officially today.

I’m currently working as a self employed contractor for a large organization, so I definitely have a seemingly large income this month, and I’m hoping that it’s a trend that I can continue in the coming months.  I plan on investing my time on building out a social media agency as well as really dive into some GaryVee-inspired garage sale  and craigslist flipping.

The numbers:

Income: $10,078.05

Spending: $2365.80

Margin: $7,712.25

One note on October’s margin number. I generated these numbers using a report from my budgeting software that i’ve been low-key obsessed with over the last month, YNAB. I’m not immediately able to send 7700 dollars over to a vanguard account…  There’s taxes to account for, there’s house repairs to save for, and there are debts to begin to pay down.

I will look to writer further about the impact of using a budgeting app and the way it’s affecting my financial behaviors. However, one thing worth mentioning today is that tracking my income/expenses has become a daily activity for me. I actually look forward to opening up the app and organizing the transactions!

This blog is still new to me, and I’m still developing what a set of posts will look like in a given month. But, the wall chart will be a great way to keep things open and transparent.